The story of Ruth, Orpah and Naomi, as stated in the Bible, is an interesting story but I will just talk about the relationship between Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1). From this story, I think God is trying to show us the importance of covenant relationships and the qualities He has put inside us which should be developed and cause us to make a success of our lives. Ruth followed Naomi in spite of her situation at the time. She was convinced and refused to turn back when Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to their native land. Ruth followed Naomi even though, in the natural, it didn’t look like following her would take her on the path to a desired destiny of fruitfulness. Naomi pointed out that her husband and her two sons, Orpah and Ruth’s husbands, were dead and she could not give birth to sons they could marry. So, she advised them to stay among their people. Orpah initially wanted to follow Naomi but she returned to her people. She most likely thought of the things she would gain by staying behind and the things she would lose by going with Naomi. Ruth, on the other hand, chose to cling to Naomi and decided she wanted to worship Naomi’s God, the Almighty God. She said only death would separate her from Naomi.
We are discussing being engrafted by love. We are in a time when it is important that we follow the Lord wholeheartedly; just like Ruth did by following Naomi. We should not lose sight of God. This is a time to say that “nothing shall separate me from the love of God, not persecutions, not perils, and not hunger or sickness. Nothing shall create a distance between God and me. I will cleave to Him and love Him with all my heart, soul and might; I will follow the Lord all the way” (Romans 8:38). How many of us are ready to follow God all the way? Along the way there will be many distractions. There are things that would try to put a wedge between you and God. The devil will try to cause you to backslide and turn away from following God. He will entice you with all kinds of gifts and worldly things that would take your heart away from God. These distractions will turn your attention towards the devil in subtle ways. He will try to put a distance between you and God by ensuring that you do not pray or read your Bible daily. You may start to rationalise why you are not fellowshipping with God and begin to think you are being “too spiritual”. Remember, the Bible warns us not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices. He is our adversary who goes about seeking whom to devour.
I want us to learn the following things from the story of Ruth: One, She persisted! Ruth told Naomi not to try to convince her to return to Moab. She said, “I will go wherever you go”. Someone might say what kind of love is this? This is awesome! Your life may not look beautiful right now but you still want to say to God, “I am going to follow you”. You want to tell God, “I don’t understand what is going on right now but I’m going to go all the way with you because you are God and you are faithful! Lord, it is not about what You can give me or what I can get from You, it is because I love you and I know that you are the Almighty”. It is all about following God, walking in love and obeying His commands. If you love Him you will obey Him and if you love Him you will yield to Him totally; irrespective of what is going on in your life or around you. Ruth knew that Naomi had a relationship with God even though, at that moment, nothing in her life reflected it. She was persistent and she entered a godly lineage through love and obedience. Ruth chapters 3 and 4 narrate how, in obedience to Naomi, she met Boaz and got married to him. Not only that, the Lord Jesus was engrafted into that lineage.
Two, She was not afraid. Ruth confronted and dealt with fear because she believed in Naomi and her God. She took a bold step and followed Naomi without having a clear idea of how Bethlehem, where they were going, would turn out. When you make a decision motivated by love, it will work because God is love. When you obey Him, you are walking in love. When you yield to Him and follow His leading, you will be surprised at what would happen at the end of the journey. Ruth must have thought about it and said, “Why should I stay back? There is hope in following this woman. I may not understand it, but I know that it is better to join the living than to stay with the dead”. 2 Timothy 1:7 states that, ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind’. You need to understand that you have God on your inside and He can do absolutely anything. Ask Him to give you the boldness and grace to do what He has called you to do.
God is a loving God and in His love, He turns things around for our good. We need to go deeper in our walk with Him and release ourselves to Him the way we do when we swim and yield ourselves to the water. As a child of God, you must operate in love and follow God all the way. It was this exciting journey of love that brought Ruth to the place of fulfilling destiny. She found a life beyond what she ever imagined. She experienced God after she met Boaz. She must have sung this song to God, “Lord, I never knew you would honour me this way, answer me this way. Thank you Jesus”. And God must have responded too, ‘I never knew you would obey me this way. I was trusting you would obey me. Thank you, my child, for not disappointing me”. God has a plan for our lives and what He wants us to do is to flow with Him and this should come from our relationship with him.
I want you to think of your life right now and ask yourself if you truly love God. If you want to love God and follow His ways, make sure you do it with all your heart and soul. Obey all the things He tells you to do and let your love for Him be total. Ask Him to take absolute control of your life. As a child of God, liberated and engrafted by His love, I want you to know He is leading you on a journey, and nothing should separate you from His love; not persecutions, fear, famine or war. Love Him wholeheartedly and He will always be by your side. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
In His love,